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Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)
Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)

BESO Large Building Requirements

Large Buildings are buildings over 25,000 ft2 in Gross Floor Area (square footage of all areas inside the building, excluding parking and patios). Small multifamily and commercial buildings that sell prior to their phase-in date (listed below by square footage) should reference the time of sale requirements instructions. See below for reporting required for large buildings under the Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO).

NEW! See Large Building Flowchart for a visual guide to compliance.

Annual Energy Benchmarking Reporting

  • Benchmarking is a summary of energy use to compare and track usage overtime. 
  • Use the free online EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager,  
  • ENERGY STAR provides buildings with a 1-100 score. 

Energy Assessment – Every Five Years

  • An energy assessment is a survey of heating, cooling and other energy using systems to find improvements to improve health, comfort, and reduce energy usage. Assessments must be completed by a Registered Energy Assessor listed on the BESO website. 
  • Buildings with an ENERGY STAR score of 80 or above are exempt from the assessment requirement. 

Phase In Schedule

 Building Size (sq ft) 

Compliance Deadline

Reporting Requirements  

50,000 or more


Energy Assessment every 5 years AND
Annual Benchmarking Report through Energy Star Portfolio Manager

25,000- 49,999




Energy Assessment every 10 years*



Less than 5,000 (excluding 1-4 unit homes)


*If buildings under 25,000 ft2 sell prior to their deadline, they must comply with Time of Sale requirements.

NOTE: For mixed use buildings, refer to Assessment Requirements Chart to determine appropriate assessment type. Refer questions to BESO Helpdesk at 510-981-7465 or

Compliance Instructions:

1. Register your building:

Complete the Large Building Application to register your building (one submission per building). The changes you submit should update on the BESO Large Buildings List for your building, including adjusted compliance deadlines if information was incorrect. You may also contact or 510-981-7416 to resolve any issues.

2. Choose one of the compliance options:
a. Submit Energy Assessment and Benchmarking Report.

b. Apply for either an Energy Assessment or Benchmarking Report Deferral (if applicable). Please reference the Large Building Exemptions and Deferrals Summary for full details. This includes participation in a qualified Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs available regionally. You can indicate this option in your building registration or contact the BESO Team.

3. Pay City filing fee (if applicable):
After completing the Large Building application, please submit the appropriate filing fee along with the application (the $240 fee for large buildings over 25,000 ft2 is only required with the submission of an energy assessment. Other deferrals and exemptions do not require a fee). You can submit your fee before or after your energy assessment. Either:
Pay by check. Make sure to write Property Address in check memo. Mail or drop off at:
City of Berkeley Planning Department
Office of Energy & Sustainable Development
1947 Center St, 1st Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
Other payment methods may pay in-person at the Permit Service Center (please check hours before coming).

 4. Receive compliance documents:

Once the BESO Team has received all applicable components—including (1) building registration, (2) energy assessment or approved deferral, (3) benchmarking report, and (4) City filing fee (if applicable)—a compliance certificate will be sent to the building owner, indicating your building’s next due date for the following reporting cycle.

5. Disclose energy information:
Disclose score and recommendations to current and prospective tenants. The City will publish summary energy information on the City website. If selling, compliance documents and a copy of the Energy Report are required to be included with closing documents at close of escrow.
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Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD), 1947 Center Street, 1st Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-7465
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903